Custom Framing with Color.

Color matters, especially when it comes to design trends. Manufacturers in the custom framing industry have made access to different hues in a range of design options these last few years, making the design process all the more exciting for our more adventurous clients.

Color picture frames aren’t just for kids’ rooms. We have a very talented customer that spends hours on her needlepoint. She recently brought a piece into our Denver frame shop that would be placed in her kitchen, which she described as “fresh, French, country”. We immediately started looking at Larson Juhl’s colorful linen liners from the Jonathon Adler collection. The linen is the perfect accent to embroidery floss because of its similar texture and saturation. Paired with a contemporary grey burl frame, we love the vibrant pop of red!

In our opinion, pink should be utilized in more than just a girl’s room. Mats are frequently used when an accent color is desired, but we really love the added sophistication that a layered frame creates. We used the same high gloss, hot pink frame as an accent with two different contemporary prints. One has a matte black outside frame, while the other was finished with a high gloss, textured white frame. Both are by male artists (Josh Keyes and Sal Buscema & Bob Wiacek) and have strong street art influences, where pink is no stranger.

Our first recommendation is to always design your framing for what looks best with the piece of art. Whether you’re custom framing a limited edition print, a one-of-kind ketubah, or original art, sometimes a pop of color can be just the thing to really set off a custom frame design. We are thrilled to have many colorful picture frames available to suit rustic, contemporary and many other design aesthetics.

Circular, hand painted watercolor ketubah with blue picture frame.
Glossy red picture frame with red accent mat.
Series of 6 original watercolors in one picture frame.

Antique Gun Custom Shadow Box -Denver Custom Framing

We love our work as Custom Framers.  After 8 years serving the Denver area, we’ve had the pleasure of building thousands of picture frames and working with hundreds of clients.  We love framing family photos old and new.  We adore custom framing a priceless piece of children’s art.  Collecting contemporary art is a passion we share with many of you so it’s an honor to ensure your art will be preserved for decades to come. At the end of the day we build squares and rectangles, but we like to think the service and care we provide is what sets us apart.  So when you bring in your treasured family heirlooms, we love the challenge they provide as well as the collaboration between ourselves and our clients.

We recently had a client bring in an antique gun his grandfather pulled out of a Denver sewer in the 1950’s.  It’s quite possible that gun was used for nefarious reasons and then pitched into a storm drain.  His grandfather restored the mechanisms and carved a new handle for the Colt 1848 Baby Dragoon revolver.  He requested a shadow box to display the gun along with with the clothe tag his sister had made years ago describing the gun.  The unique request was to be able to remove the gun from the display from time to time that presented a fun challenge.


The client selected a beautiful burl wood frame from Larson Juhl’s Dillon line.   The mat and housing were custom wrapped with 100% cotton canvas to compliment the muslin tag.  We recessed the handle and cylinder and hid magnets behind the barrel and cylinder for extra stability.  A leather strap and a hand carved bone button were added to complete the closure.  The two identical frames were joined and hinged back to back.   Magnetic closures were embedded in the bottom of each frame to secure the lid to the base when shut.  We used TruVue’s Optium Museum Acrylic as the glazing for the  anti-reflective qualities as well as it’s being anti-abrasive and anti-static.

We were so excited to show this to it’s owner and even more thrilled with his reaction.  We love these challenging projects that make us rethink the way picture frame moulding can be used! We would love to see what you might have that will be our next fun challenge!  Scroll down to see the video of Zach opening the shadow box.

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Custom Pen Lines and Text to enhance your Custom Framing-Denver Custom Framing

We’re obviously partial, but custom framing is a truly unique business and offers so many areas of customization.  We’re part light manufacturing, part designers, part craftsman and love any opportunity to combine these attributes to step up your custom framing.

We often refer to our Wizard 9000 mat cutter as our part time employee.  We love having a computerized mat cutter here at Anthology because of the many options it give us to enhance custom framing.  One of our favorite features is the pen option.  It’s function is to offer an alternative to hand drawing French Lines and replaces traditional brass or silver plaques.  On many designs, we incorporate lines with text.  Another benefit is that we have many fonts and pen colors available to make your piece unlike anything we’ve done before. 

We hope you will draw inspiration from the following designs to use in your own custom framing!

This first sample is photograph by Josh Dupelchian and was a gift to Governor Hickenlooper from Colorado Trout Unlimited.  Traditionally, a plaque might have been engraved and placed on the mat or directly on the frame.  A plaque was impractical for this custom frame due to the size of the photo and the substantial text they wanted included.  Also, any metal incorporated into the design would have been distracting from the organic nature of the photograph and the wood texture of the frame.  


Long time clients, Talia and Daniel Haykin, came to us recently with a unique request.  They opened Haykin Family Cider last year, turning a passion into a family business.  Something we can relate to!  Before they had their own cidery, Daniel was already winning awards.  They brought us medals they’ve won and asked us to incorporate the competition name as well as the varieties into the custom framed shadow boxes.  We laid out the designs to highlight each medal in it’s own window and had the CMC write the details.  We chose basic black & white for the designs to match their modern tasting room in Aurora.  This will also allow us to seamlessly add to their award wall as they win more each year.  You can find their retailers on their website or visit the tasting room Thursday-Saturday evenings.



This next custom framed sample is an antique print collected by a client.  There was considerably more paper at the bottom of the print than the top and sides.  We weighted the bottom of the acid free cotton rag mat and added a small pen design element to balance the negative space.


This next design showcases a traditional French line in addition to text.  We custom frame these metal plaques as awards with the year and recipients name.  The gold pen offers a great repetition with the gold frame.


When you own a custom framing business, you tend to experiment with your own family.  Last summer, we had the pleasure of visiting San Diego with the entire clan and made the commitment to do a family portrait.  For me, gifts for my parents are about the most challenging to buy.  I had one of the photos enlarged and wanted to custom frame it for their home.  Over the years, we’ve framed and reframed many family portraits for our clients and often if the photo is more than a decade old, people forget the where and when it was taken.  I decided to add the detail of the line, the text and the text boxes to keep a modern feel and add to the overall size of the piece.  In case you’re wondering, my mom loves seeing this everyday!


This is about the most classic design of French Line Matting.  We used a gold fillet inside the mat opening and a double French Line, a water guilded gold frame compliments the style and design of the antique watercolor.  This traditional use of a pen line honors a centuries old technique that is still appropriate for current trends.


Where have you been?

We like to say that we travel vicariously through our clients.  So, we’ve recently been to Egypt, Iceland, Mt Everest, Mexico, Italy, New York and more concerts than any one person could handle.  Our clients brought back original artwork, photos from monumental basecamps, antique papyrus, tribal masks and everything in between.  It’s incredible seeing people bring in such personal items to be custom framed so that they can relive their experiences everyday.  There’s the added bonus that conservation picture framing is the best way to make your memories last a lifetime.  We’d love to see where you’ve been in your travels near or far.  Get your photos off your device, by a piece of art or plan a family reunion.   

A Mark Ryden print made as a fundraiser for the NY ballet.
A Mark Ryden print made as a fundraiser for the NY ballet.

Wood mask hand stitched to a fabric mat.
Wood mask hand stitched to a fabric mat.

14 years of accomplishments in one custom frame.
14 years of accomplishments in one custom frame.

Wine labels collected from a trip to Italy.
Wine labels collected from a trip to Italy.

Limited edition Phish show poster with ticket stubs.
Limited edition Phish show poster with ticket stubs.

Extended family reunion attended from all over the country in the mountains of Colorado.
Extended family reunion attended from all over the country in the mountains of Colorado.

Antique papyrus from Egypt.
Antique papyrus from Egypt.

Mexican folk art of nativity scene.
Mexican folk art of nativity scene.

Colorful Guatamala painting.
Colorful Guatamala painting.

Denver Shadow Box Framing with LED Lights

 It happens regularly, someone gives you the gift of art; a photograph, painting or maybe even something 3 dimensional. But then you’re left with the problem of what to do with it.  We recently had a client come to us with a unique project.  She’s a fine art photographer and had been gifted an antique glass plate negative.  Because it’s a negative, it’s almost impossible to display without being backlit.  Luckily she’s been a client for years and after selecting the frame she liked, put it in the capable hands of Zach to design and execute the rest.

The client choose a frame from Larson Juhl’s Biltmore collection.  We ended up using two custom frames from the same line to add depth and allow for a place to store the lights and battery pack.


The LED light strand that Zach selected is battery powered and remote controlled.  The client has the choice of selecting several colors or having them alternate as they do in the video above.

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To protect the glass plate negative, we trapped it with acid free mat board from Crescent and sandwiched between two pieces of TruVue Museum Glass.  The mats protect the edges of the glass and required no adhesive to keep it in place.  GlasPlateNegative

We kind of geek out on this one-of-a-kind custom frame pieces and have a little client envy.  We know this is going to be an amazing conversation piece for years to come.



Custom Framed Arrowhead Shadow Box

What is an “Anthology”? Simply put it is a collection. Here at Anthology Fine Art we love collections and the challenge and creativity it takes to preserve and display them. Several years ago we had the opportunity to make a large, multi opening, custom frame of a collection of vintage cards for a client.  They were collected by the husband’s father and serve as a beautiful family tribute.  The same Denver family recently came to us with another family heirloom project, this time a collection of arrowheads, stone tools, and beaded jewelry, from the wife’s grandfather.  The grandfather had created an DIY display in a hand made box that had been in her family for years.  Time had taken its toll on the box and the collection was in need of an update so that it could be preserved and displayed for further generations.


Her grandfather had meticulously documented what each item was, as well as where they were found, and created a hand written key with corresponding numbers for each item.  The client wanted to retain the original layout, key, and the numbers. She also wanted to double the size and rather than being displayed by laying on a table the way the original had, with the arrowheads pressed between cotton and glass, she wanted the arrowheads to “float”and hang on the wall in their new home.

We started with the idea to make the overall size bigger without getting too large or distracting.  Individual oval windows were cut in order to display each piece. Rather than two mats stacked, we created a custom cotton canvas mat that gives the impression of being embossed that made for a subtle, yet elegant way to display each individual item.



The collection included multiple arrowheads of different size and shape, stone scrapers and tools, as well as two pieces of beaded work. Each piece was individually mounted to the canvas and the had written numbers from the original display were reused.


Finally, to tie the two family pieces together, we used the same frame as the vintage cards. The result was a beautiful new display for a lovely collection, that will now be proudly displayed and cherished by this wonderful family for generations to come!


Over the years we have had the pleasure of framing a lot of different collections for our clients. From Arrowheads and Vintage Cigarette cards to Military items and Woodworking Tools. We cherish the opportunity to preserve and display these items. We would love to see what sort of fun and interesting collections you have. We encourage you to see what Anthology Fine Art can do in order to preserve, protect, and display your collection. Consultations and quotes are always free and encouraged. Don’t allow these wonderful bits of history and conversation starters to continue to collect dust in a box or on a shelf come and see how we can help you create a display that you will cherish for a lifetime.

Displaying the unique


A client recently came to us with a mask that he wanted to frame.  It is a resin mask taken from a life cast of Michael Jackson.  The cast was taken during the shooting of the “Thriller” video as a means for the makeup artists to be able to transform his face throughout the video.  The mask is signed by the artists, so we wanted an archival mount without using adhesives.  The solution Zach came up with was to build an acid free foam base the exact size of the opening.


To give the mask the illusion of “floating” off the mat, Zach then built up the back of the mounting with smaller sections of acid free foam core.



The client was planning to light the entire piece once displayed in his home and so opted for a white on white style of frame and mat.  We used white rag mat from Crescent and a bright white frame from Larson Juhl’s Alto line.  The uv plexi glass box makes the signature and every side of the mask clearly visible.  MichaelJacksonShadowBox2

Star Wars Shadow Box



Deb brought in these medals and bibs as a gift for her step-son, Jordan, a lifelong Star Wars fan.  We hear even his bedroom is decorated with Star Wars!  He knew she planned to have them framed but, because we’ve done work for both of them, left himself out of the design process.  In addition to the bibs and medals, he provided photos he wanted included as well as his times and placing.

The marathon medals are some of the coolest we’ve ever seen, so to make them stand out we opted for black suede mats and a simple black frame.  The photos were printed to be a similar size of the bibs.  The medal straps were sewn into the back mat and the medals themselves were secured with silicone and additional stitching.  They were two races but, Jordan requested one large piece.  One race was in Disneyland, the other in Disney World, so we opted to separate them inside the frame with two mat openings.  Finally, we added the locations, race times and placing in the middle to tie the two sides together.

This was a really fun project and we hope Jordan will be able to relive his experience every time he looks at his shadow box!



Moms, Dads and Grads.

Mother’s Day is Sunday and so begins a time of celebrating Mothers, Fathers and Graduates in our lives.  If you’re an adult, the idea of finding a gift for someone that has seemingly everything is a difficult task.  We’ve done the work for you and have put together some of the most unique ideas we’ve used for our family over the years. 

1.  Custom Framed Jewelry Boxes:  You’ve done the jewelry thing before, give her a way to show off her favorite necklaces and keep them organized at the same time.



2.  Frame a family photo:  You’ve only got three more days!  Luckily, we have pre-made Photo Frames to fit a 4×6, 5×7 or 8×10.  Keep it simple, or let one of the kids embellish the mat with their own style and sentiment.


3.  Anthology Gift Cards:  Has mom or grandma been hinting they’d like an updated family photo?  Want the college graduate to frame that really expensive piece of paper?  We have gift cards in any amount that require zero planning.  You can even call us at 303-534-1331 and we’ll take care of everything.  



4.   A nice pen and a conversation piece:  We have a selection of handmade pens by Conner Woodworks that make the perfect gift for a parent or graduate.  



5.  Make a memory they can keep forever:  Preservation is the hallmark of custom framing.  Maybe it’s band poster your husband has had for years or the last concert you attend at Red Rocks before your grad heads off to college, make sure it will last a lifetime.  BlueFrame